This question is specifically regarding the use of GPX routes and not creating a route within the app or device.

Whenever I use a GPX file created outside a navigation app, I have been having a poor experience. On one extreme is OSMAnd that instructs me to turn anytime the route changes direction and the other extreme is Guru Maps which only tells me if I am off the route.

If I create the route inside the app, then turn-by-turn navigation works as I'd expect if I were driving a car. But often times there are routes online I'd like to use and they're quite complicated and it'd be tedious to try and recreate it in another app.

Would it be reasonable to expect that if load a GPX route that I would have turn-by-turn voice guidance on a Garmin Edge (1030 Plus)? Are there any caveats, many? Or should it work as expect most of the time?

I'm considering a physical device so that I can have a better, more consistent navigation experience.

  • 1
    The only caveat with GPX routes loaded into Garmin is that it still calculates routes from point to point and Garmin may use a different algorithm than the original tool/app, not taking the exact same roads. I haven't experienced that (I usa Strava and an Edge 540) but it has been mentioned on some cycling podcasts - just add more GPX waypoints/marks so that the devices has less room for interpretation, especially in segments with many turns.
    – DoNuT
    Oct 28, 2023 at 9:57
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    That is a positive that it still calculates the route, but I guess also to your point, if the base map you have doesn't have a trail or road, then it will end up routing differently than the GPX. I want to avoid having too little turn-by-turn guidance, and too much.
    – John Doe
    Oct 29, 2023 at 10:58
  • Yeah, its an absolute positive when you go off track and you get routed back on your course, works absolutely flawless. I've only ever heard this complaint from ultracyclists (like Christoph Strasser) where different routing algorithms in remote regions make a difference between a perfectly good road and some nasty trails when it is up to the computer's choice. So, if you really want to (or have to by a race's rules) stay on a certain path, make sure that it is marked in the original GPX, but of course, in 99% of the times it works just fine, in my experience.
    – DoNuT
    Oct 29, 2023 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


Yes, sure. A GPX course will work with turn by turn just fine.

I personaly use Edge Explorer 2 that uses the modern Edge internals (I think it has a lot common with 840) and it works with GPX courses perfectly. You see on the displsy both the exact points from the GPX and the turn-by-turn route as the device interpretted it using the map and the trail or road database it has.

I used it very recently on a 300 km course split into two files and I had problem only when the trail was so small and overgrown that I had trouble spotting it or once when the trail was missing on the map.

Of course, sometimes you would have wished an explicit turn information when the Edge just thinks you are continuing straight and nothing is necessary, at other times some turn information is unneeded. But it is always like that.

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